Today we’re joined by Shane Sheenan. Shane is a wonderfully talented and passionate visual artist and writer. He writes the webcomic Beefpaper, which is partly animated. The visuals he sent along are so interesting and the webcomic is also very unique. Shane’s enthusiasm is awesome, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I mainly focus on my webcomic Beefpaper, which nowadays is partly animated. It’s a cross between cartoon and photographic – considering I started my comic in a way of a diary of my life, I chose to take photos for the backgrounds, so that I could always look back at the comic and see part of a memory from an old photo included there.
I only started drawing about 5 years ago (on Microsoft paint for the first year @__@) and I feel like my art has still got a long way to go to where I want it to be, but every step counts!
What inspires you?
Initially, I had been hoping to become financially successful like my first webcomic heroes, which included Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics, Joey/Emily of A Softer World, Meredith Gran of Octopus Pie and SOOOOO many others. Their comics are so unique and different that I thought maybe I could also make a comic which stood out from the crowd, but after a while I learned that aiming for success and money is not what comics should be about.
I am now strongly inspired by the joy I get out of making Beefpaper as well as the opportunities it has opened up for me! For example, it aided me in meeting my best friend Tasha of Tethered-comic.com, who I am flying halfway around the globe to see shortly (I’ve barely travelled in my life!), I would have never of met her if I didn’t start Beefpaper! I can’t wait to see where else my comic can take me!! *BOUNCES IN EXCITEMENT*
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Reading other webcomics! I used to draw when I was little but this largely got gobbled up by video games. It was only when I started drawing those terrible little drawings in MS paint did the spark re-ignite for me, but I am so glad I got it back when I did!
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?
In a way, every photo I take for the comic! I always want to include photos that I can look back on and spark memories I probably would of forgotten otherwise. Even if that place happens to be a crummy fish and chip shop in the middle of nowhere, haha!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Practice, put your work out there for people to see, and ask for feedback. I think it’s important to ask people what they think of your work so you can use it to improve! Please be aware that you may get unpleasant negative feedback from people saying your work is the dumbest thing in the world, but remember that we are on the internet and the internet is where the jerks live!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify myself as an Agenda Asexual!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I have only come out as being asexual this year and have only come across one person who completely dismissed my asexuality by saying it was a ‘symptom of something that has gone wrong inside the body’. They are very religious though so I am sure their opinion on this is largely due to that. I was extremely offended by this, but I have just concluded that not everyone will be open minded about other sexual orientations for one reason or another.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
“You just need to find the right girl”.
I think that some people just think that being asexual is just a phase that needs to be ‘broken out of’ or ‘fixed’.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
If you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable talking to about your sexual orientation, reach out to online communities and make friends with people who are going through the same thing as you. I met some people online through my comic who were also just recently discovering themselves and coming out with their own sexual orientation, which was pretty darn awesome do with them!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can read all my dumb comics at Beefpaper.com!! 😀
Thank you so much, Shane, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.